Buying Cigars in Punta Cana

The Dominican Republic produces more handmade cigars than any other country in the world with over 500 million rolled yearly. The closest competition, Cuba, lags far behind with less than half that number. The DR also leads the world in the amount of brands. Cohiba, Aurora, León Jimenes, Arturo Fuente, Montecristo, Romeo y Julieta, H. Upmann, are just a few of the internationally-recognized Dominican brands known for superb quality. 

Bringing home an authentic handmade Dominican cigar is an excellent way to remember your trip, but make sure you’re purchasing the original. According to Miguel Montilla, General Manager at the Boutique del Fumador, falsification has been a big problem throughout the country. His shop, on Calle el Conde in Santo Domingo’s Zona Colonial distributes Cohiba and Caoba brand cigars. Cohiba is the famous Cuban brand and Boutique del Fumador is the owner of that brand in the Dominican Republic. 

Avoid Counterfeits

Montilla says that several years ago about 70% of the cigars sold in the DR were fabricated. He praises the local authorities who have gone to the root of the problem by shutting down the clandestine cigar factories. He cautions the purchase of cigars at beaches and at outdoor plazas and encourages visitors to look for authentic Dominican cigars at tobacco shops and gift shops with special sections dedicated to cigars.

“A cigar is not an inexpensive product and it’s impossible to believe you are receiving a quality box for US$25 dollars”, says Montilla. “Cigars are just as unique as wine or whiskey, they are handmade and it can take six to seven years for the tobacco to age, and that has a cost.”

According to Montilla, each brand’s standard for quality will dictate its price. He explains that a quality box of 24 to 25 handmade Dominican cigars can range in price from US$70 to US$400. Montilla also highlights that purchasing cigars at reputed shops will allow you to find the cigar that’s right for your tastes with help from the shop specialist. 

Who knows if you’ll ever be back to visit Punta Cana. And with tobacco quality this good you want to get it right the first time!

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